Collection Protocols

The first material recovered from this locality came from a 1993 excavation as cavers dug to find new passages out of the Velvet Room. This by-product of tunneling was bulk sampled and yielded bones that lacked any stratigraphic context. In 1995 a small vertical extension was begun, and in 1996 the excavation was expanded horizontally and especially vertically, with no spatial or vertical provenance supplied for specimens. In 1997 a controlled excavation commenced as a lateral expansion on three sides of the original hole (the fourth side being the cave wall). Excavation levels were 2-15 cm thick, but eventually these were determined to be so bioturbated and otherwise disturbed because of the complex depositional situation that stratigraphic levels were deemed essentially meaningless as indicators of relative time. It is likely that the assemblage time averages up to hundreds of thousands of years. RGR and LHT provided the following description to ADB in 2001:

This locality started as a test pit to determine if strata similar to [those] found at DMNH 644 existed on the south side of the Velvet Room. In 1993, 1994, and 1995 this test pit was deepened to several meters without encountering well-bedded strata.

A datum was established on the ceiling over the excavation, and 4.2 m of strata were excavated in a series of 55 levels over three field seasons (1997-99). At no time during the excavation process were well-stratified sediments found. Only weakly defined cementation zones and color bands were observed. Deep open holes were common beneath angular boulders. It is apparent that although relatively old faunal elements occur in this locality, the fauna is mixed due to reworking and irregular depositional processes.

As of the end of 2000, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science held 4443 catalogued specimens from this locality.

is suggested by older-looking black bones found alongside younger-looking tan bones.

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